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  • County Announces L&A Test On Ballot Machines


    your vote countsThe Elections Division of the Thurston County Auditor’s Office will conduct a Logic and Accuracy test on its ballot tabulation machines on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. for the 2015 Special Election. A Logic and Accuracy test, or “L&A,” is a collection of… Read More +

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  • Pot-Related Poison Control Calls Increasing

    cannabis underlightsMarijuana related calls to poison control centers in Washington and Colorado have spiked since the states began allowing legal sales last year, with an especially troubling increase in calls concerning young children. New year-end data show that the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center… Read More +

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  1. Daybreak
  2. Legislative Linkup
  • Kingdome Repairs To Be Paid

    kingdome tilesFifteen years after the Kingdome was demolished in a controlled explosion, King County is paying off the money it borrowed to make emergency repairs in 1994 to falling ceiling tiles. County finance director Dwight Dively said the bonds will be paid off in March, an early thanks to healthy hotel-motel tax revenue due in part to the boost from Seahawks playoff games.

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Apple Courts Chinese Market, But Not Everyone Is on Board

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-09_c45e3d7ad7.jpgKevork Djansezian/Getty Images (CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- Apple has left the C in iPhone 5C open to interpretation. The C could stand for color, cheap, or in a somewhat new direction, China. "This is the first time we've been able to launch an iPhone at the start, with the other countries, in China," said Phil Schiller, Apple's VP of marketing, at Tuesday's event.

But why is Apple so interested in China? Why are analysts downgrading Apple from "buy" to "neutral" because it's not competitive enough in China? It could be that China has nearly half a billion people using smartphones to access the Internet. But of those half a billion, only 12 percent of them use Apple products.

That's not to say that Apple isn't a household name in China. Carl Howe, a vice president of Yankee Group's Consumer Research group, said that just like the United States, Chinese Apple stores have lines out the door whenever a new device goes on sale. "Rumor has it that they make more money in any of the five stores in China than they do in the Fifth Avenue store in New York," he told ABC News. But many of those customers are among China's elite. "The price of an Apple product is a significant fraction of the average Chinese worker's salary," said Howe. "These devices mostly go to the wealthy." China may be Apple's second-largest national market, but there is still a large customer base that Apple hasn't tapped into yet.

"It's still a premium brand," said Rob Enderle, the principal analyst of the Enderle Group. "Apple is on the high end of the smartphone market, and a lot of other phones in China are quite a bit less, closer to $100 or $200."

The 5S is set to retail in China for 5,288 yuan ($858) and the 5C for 4,488 yuan ($728). Looking into the Twitterverse, potential Chinese customers don't seem to care for the price of Apple's new iPhones, especially the 5C.

"iPad Mini prices were $329 when everyone thought it was going to be $249. The iPhone 5C's price is even more shocking," tweeted @oxyung.

"It's like [Apple CEO] Cook slapped me in the face," tweeted @zmt0516.

Chinese news agencies are reporting that the 5C will likely have a hard time in China. A survey conducted by Sina Corp said that less than 3 percent of over 9,000 users say they would buy an iPhone 5C. A worker in Zhongguancun, the Chinese equivalent of Silicon Valley, told Xinhua News Agency that while it's good for Apple to see its Chinese customers as important, "the prices are a little high."

"Other phones in China are quite a bit less, closer to $100 or $200."

One way that Apple could make themselves more accessible to Chinese customers is by striking a deal with China Mobile, the country's largest cell phone carrier. "They have 750 million subscribers, like seven or eight Verizons combined," said Howe. If Apple wants new customers in China, Howe sees China Mobile as the company's wildcard.

But a wildcard is anything but a sure bet. Enderle still sees the iPhone as a plaything for China's wealthiest citizens. "Given Chinese customers' past behavior, the 5S will outperform the 5C," he said. He sees the extra status in having a 5S compared to a 5C as worth the extra 800 yuan to the Chinese customer. "China is very status oriented, so who wants to pay for a cheaper iPhone?"

Whether Apple will find new customers or just cater to the ones it already has in China, Howe sees the new iPhones doing extraordinarily well. "We're predicting that globally, 12 million phones will be sold from the Sept. 20 launch to the end of the month," he said. "That would make it the largest consumer electronics launch in history."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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GriffinNeighbor - Tues, Better Thurston will ask the County Commissioners to put an election of freeholders on the ballot in November. on.fb.me/1C0tbI8

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USCGPacificNW - A #USCG helicopter crew medevaced a teenager from #CoquilleValley to #Portland, Saturday. goo.gl/3TajQ9 #workingtogether

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